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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Supporting Actor

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor

Frances McDormand will all but certainly reap the benefit of staying true to form and eschewing the bulk of the Oscar campaigning playbook, thereby avoiding having to utter any defenses for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, unquestionably this year’s most #problematic awards contender. Sam Rockwell, conversely, has spent Oscar season staying true to himself and doing everything within his power to charm voters and please crowds. The results have been defter than even his ever-reliable fancy feet. He joked through his Golden Globes acceptance speech, admitting that after a career filled with indie films—and, you know, Charlie’s Angels—it was nice to be in something that people actually saw and thanking writer-director Martin McDonagh for “not being a dick.” He reasserted his renegade-outsider cred by dutifully clocking in at Studio 8H and then lacing one of his Saturday Night Live skits with an impromptu, live-TV four-letter word. He kept his tongue firmly planted in cheek even as he allowed a cardboard cutout of Agnès Varda to upstage him and everyone else at the Oscar nominees luncheon.

Chris Rock, Prince, & the State of Saturday Night Live

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Chris Rock, Prince, & the State of Saturday Night Live

NBC

Chris Rock, Prince, & the State of Saturday Night Live

Something intriguing seems to be happening to Saturday Night Live. There’s no denying that the departures of Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers have overall drastically muted the show’s comedic palette, throwing it into a transitional funk. You’d think that booking names like Jim Carrey, Woody Harrelson, and Cameron Diaz to do some of the heavy lifting would help ease new cast members and writers into viewers’ minds. Instead, these recent episodes have felt mostly constrained by a soberness that’s prevented the 40th season of the program from finding its rhythm. But then it was announced that former cast member Chris Rock would return for the first time since leaving SNL to host the November 1st episode, with Prince as musical guest, what unfolded was one the show’s most engrossing episodes in a very long time, turning this transitional phase into a spectacle of its own.

Poster Lab: Seven Psychopaths

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Poster Lab: <em>Seven Psychopaths</em>
Poster Lab: <em>Seven Psychopaths</em>

No, it’s not just you—the poster for Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths looks awfully familiar, despite the blinding neon green it uses to lasso your attention. Not long ago, you saw a markedly similar lineup of badass characters, glaring out at you from the one-sheet for Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. Like that memorable image, which put Brad Pitt front and center in a stylish hat, the new ad features one guy in the contrasting gleam of a leather jacket, and another in a heavy coat that highlights his exasperated, straight-man’s shrugged shoulders. But it’s more than just single file and fashion that unites these two posters. Seven Psychopaths follows Snatch’s lead so fully that it even opts to spike its plot—and, subsequently, advertising—with a little dog too. Instead of Pitt’s leashed, squeak-toy-swallowing pooch, there’s a wee, fluffy Shih Tzu, whose ironic cuteness speaks to McDonagh’s light-black tone, and who reportedly serves as the movie’s MacGuffin. However fun it may be to eye up a row of attractive rogues, it’s a tad disheartening that this Irish maestro’s latest had to plainly mirror a cult British production, as if there’s only one way to sell Euro crime comedies.

If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot Aaron Aradillas’s Top 10 Films of All Time

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If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Aaron Aradillas’s Top 10 Films of All Time
If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Aaron Aradillas’s Top 10 Films of All Time

Editor’s Note: In light of Sight & Sound’s film poll, which, every decade, queries critics and directors the world over before arriving at a communal Top 10 list, we polled our own writers, who didn’t partake in the project, but have bold, discerning, and provocative lists to share.

How do you distinguish a movie that’s one of the greatest of all time from one of your all-time favorites? Is there a distinction? Making a top 10 list of the greatest movies of all time made me realize that there is and there isn’t. For example: John McTiernan’s Die Hard is one of my favorite movies, but it didn’t make this list. On the other hand, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s Un Chien Andalou is one of the greatest movies ever made, but it didn’t make this list either. Maybe it would’ve been easier to choose movies in specific genres and categories. For example: Most people would argue that Singin’ in the Rain is the greatest musical of all time. It certainly is one of them but I’d make the case that Saturday Night Fever is just as monumental an achievement in the musical genre.

But the task at hand is to make a list of the 10 movies I consider to be the greatest ever made. Following the model of the Sight & Sound critics’ poll, I consider this list to be fluid and not set in stone. Surprisingly, I didn’t agonize over this list that much (I agonize more when I make my year-end list). My choices are movies that continue to speak to me long after I can anticipate every line of dialogue, every edit, or plot point. I feel I will never fully understand why I consider these movies to be the greatest ever made. So, if some of my choices baffle you, take comfort in knowing they baffle me, too.

15 Famous Movie Savages

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15 Famous Movie Savages
15 Famous Movie Savages

Oliver Stone returns this weekend with Savages, a nasty crime thriller based on Don Winslow’s drug-cartel novel. The dictionary defines “savage” as “an uncivilized human being,” “a fierce, brutal, or cruel person,” and “a rude, boorish person.” In other words, it covers just about every villain who’s ever graced the screen. To whip up a list of 15, we set our sights on vicious characters as fierce as they are remarkably uncouth. There are no classy rogues here, folks. These are teeth-gnashing, eardrum-piercing, elbows-on-the-table types, and from a child murderer to a furry monster to two more Stone creations, they comprise a choice selection of scoundrels.

Reaction Shot: Game Change

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Reaction Shot: <em>Game Change</em>
Reaction Shot: <em>Game Change</em>

HBO’s Game Change isn’t the first time director Jay Roach and writer Danny Strong have tackled American electoral politics, and it’s not the first time they’ve portrayed women in politics either. Their first collaboration, Recount, about the contested 2000 presidential election, featured Laura Dern as Katherine Harris, whose gauche gaudiness dropped into the middle of the film’s strategic maneuvering came across as the antics of some kind of grotesque buffoon played for dissonant laughs. Game Change handles Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) with a bit more aplomb, preferring sober psychological study to broad caricature. But it’s precisely in its straight-ahead characterization that the film lays bare its contempt for the political theater on display. It’s confident that Saturday Night Live-level mockery is unnecessary to highlight the absurdity of what’s being proffered to the American public—and what that public is eating up.

15 Famous Bad Movie Cops

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15 Famous Bad Movie Cops
15 Famous Bad Movie Cops

Oren Moverman’s Rampart arrives in select theaters this weekend, adding Woody Harrelson to the pantheon of actors who’ve taken on crooked cop roles, playing officers who uphold the law about as well as a cheerleader holds her liquor. For decades, films have been infiltrated by serve-and-protect types who play both sides, abuse their powers, and leave behind paths of destruction. “The most corrupt cop you’ve ever seen on screen,” reads the tagline on Rampart’s poster. These 15 badge-defilers would beg to differ.

Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Actor

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Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Actor
Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Actor

What Kurt said yesterday about the Best Actress race applies to the Best Actor race in spades, only with a little more direct focus. Instead of covering the gamut of popular Oscar strategies, the two strongest locks in this category are playing variations of the same game: homecoming king. No one is going to say either Brad Pitt or George Clooney stretched their acting muscles to the point of tearing in Moneyball and The Descendants. They’re mainly being rewarded for dependability and reasonably mature taste in pet projects, especially in the case of renaissance man Clooney, who at least has the wherewithal to play up his creeping schlubishness—not to mention split an onion in the palm of his hand during The Descendants’s emotional high point.

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions Supporting Actor

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor

Sometimes the key to an actor’s successful Oscar campaign is to let the performance speak entirely for itself. For Mo’Nique, the only acting frontrunner that was a no-show at AMPAS’s recent nominees luncheon, we have to wait until March 7 to find out if that strategy worked for homegirl. And sometimes the key to an actor’s successful campaign is to complement a good performance with tastefully played PR. Except for a weirdly botched performance at the SAGs, Christoph Waltz has remained a frontrunner in this category ever since Inglourious Basterds stormed the Cannes Film Festival last year in part by selling himself, in one gracious awards speech after another, as nothing less than a gentleman—though one with all the humor and none of the pomposity of the debonair ghoul he memorably plays in Quentin Tarantino’s film. Don’t even entertain an upset: Like Heath Ledger last year, Waltz is practically the only nominee in this category.